Help us rebuild Sheffield St Luke’s Hospice - VIDEO

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ST LUKE’S Hospice today launches a £5 million appeal to transform and modernise the vital Sheffield institution, ensuring its survival.

The Star is backing the appeal, and today we pledge to raise £100,000 ourselves to help rebuild the hospice’s inpatient unit.

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VIDEO: Press the play button to watch a special report about the work of St Luke’s Hospice.

St Luke’s is essential for the 1,500 terminally-ill patients it treats in Sheffield every year, giving them peace and care in their final days.

But now, 41 years after its foundation, it risks being closed down if it does not take drastic action.

Facilities at the hospice in Whirlow, are ‘tired’, ‘aged’ and failing to meet ‘current best practice guidance’, according to the latest Care Quality Commission inspection.

Star backed: St.Luke's Hospice staff and helpers launch their �5m Appeal.

Star backed: St.Luke's Hospice staff and helpers launch their �5m Appeal.

And Peter Hartland, chief executive of the charity, is worried inspectors might force the hospice to close if it does not start its redevelopment soon.

That is why, despite a difficult economic climate, the charity is pushing ahead with plans to turn the 20-bed hospice into a modern set of single en-suite bedrooms.

Mr Hartland said: “We can’t wait to get on with this work. If we wait two or three years, it might be too late.

“We have to start and get this work going.”

Builders will move onto the site on Little Common Lane next month, with doors at the modern new facility due to open just more than a year later, in August 2013.

The number of beds at the hospice will remain the same, but the overall floor space will be dramatically increased and the large, impersonal wards will be transformed into a set of 14 single rooms and two triple-occupancy rooms.

The money for the £5.5m redevelopment bill needs to be found on top of the £4m St Luke’s has to raise each year just to stay open.

The Star editor, Jeremy Clifford said: “The Star has a long association with St Luke’s, which is held dearly in the hearts of generations of Sheffield people.

“This appeal is vital for helping ensure the future of the excellent care the charity provides for people at the end of their lives.

“We are determined to do what we can to help, which is why we have pledged to raise £100,000 for St Luke’s over the next two years.

“We hope our readers will do everything they can to help us achieve that goal.”

Today, St Luke’s launches its appeal at a glitzy city centre event hosted by supporters DLA Piper.

Bosses will set out their plan to more than 100 invited city leaders, councillors, business leaders and NHS managers.

n To help kick-start The Star’s fundraising campaign, log-on to www.justgiving.com/thestar

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